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Entrepreneurship News

February 3, 2014

Student Profile: Marc Lombardo '14, Joshua Kaplan '14 and Justin Belmont '14

Student Profile: Marc Lombardo '14, Joshua Kaplan '14 and Justin Belmont '14

Marc Lombardo '14, Joshua Kaplan '14 and Justin Belmont '14 discovered that the breadth of perks and discounts offered to students in stores was not offered online. They created Perkla to solve the problem. Lombardo explains.

What is unique about your company? 
Perkla is your digital student ID, where students can get discounts to their favorite brands online, including Reebok, Converse, Theory, Rent the Runway, and many more!

How did you come up with idea?
When Justin, Josh, and I became business school students, we realized the plethora of deals that were offered to us by retailers in store; however, there was no way to access these discounts online.  That’s crazy!  Increasingly, students across the country, like us, prefer to shop online.  With Perkla, we created the solution to this problem.

Which resources at Columbia / New York City have been most helpful to you?
We began our journey in the Lean Launchpad course with Professor Dorf, and enjoyed his tutelage so much that we did an independent study with him on our Marketing Strategy.  We consulted with numerous alumni, who provided us with thoughtful insights and suggestions, which have helped Perkla develop immensely.  Additionally, Perkla gained acceptance into the Columbia Entrepreneurs Lab (CEL), which provided us with a new co-working, incubator space for the summer, located on the Morningside campus.  The CEL incubator space provided us with practical resources and mentorship during our critical first few months.  Currently, we are in the Greenhouse course, and we look forward to building the business for future success!

How can the community help you now?

Students – sign up and start saving!  And spread the word to your friends.  Additionally, we are looking to add to our team, so if a  student is looking to join an ecommerce start-up, look no further.

How can people contact you? Email is easy ( or or just chat with me on campus – I’m around!

Summer Fellowship Program

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Spring 2015 Events

March 13, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - Summer
Admission Decisions

March 19, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Asha Saxena
"Big Data"
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 142 - Register

March 23-31, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork

March 26, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Barbara Roberts
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 307 - Register

April 3, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Deliberations, Alumni Center, 302 Kluge Room

April 5, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
Applications Due By 11:59PM

April 6, 2015

Columbia Startup Lab - WeWork
Decisions Announced

April 6, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Applications Due By 11:59PM - Apply Now

April 9, 2015

David Rose ' 83 Investor Pitch Workshop
12:30-2:00PM, Uris Hall 331- Register

April 16, 2015

Entrepreneur in Residence Workshop - Kevin Quinn '91
"Spring Training for Entrepreneurs: Avoiding Unforced Errors"
12:30-2:00PM, Warren Hall 209 - Register

April 20, 2015

Spring Venture Showcase
6:00-9:00PM, Columbia Startup Lab-WeWork SoHo West, 69 Charlton Street

April 22, 2015

NY TechDay
10:00-5:30PM, Pier 92

April 23-24, 2015

#Startup Columbia Festival

April 24, 2015

Summer Fellowship Program
Selected Students Announced

April 27, 2015

Entrepreneurial Greenhouse Program
Annual Alumni Reception

May 5, 2015

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Columbia
Demo Event
6:30-9:00PM, Morgan Stanley

May 20, 2015

Columbia University Commencement

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Innovation and Entrepreneurship @ Columbia provides a platform to develop new ideas by leveraging the cross-functional capabilities and knowledge of the University at large.